Whitney Awards Honor Authors with Various Backgrounds, Styles Nominees announced for this year’s event
PROVO, Utah – A former media relations officer for the LDS Church. A professor and holder of a Ph.D in literature. A New York Times best-selling author.
All have been recipients of the Whitney Awards – an awards program that honors novels by LDS authors.
Popular and newer author Sandra Grey, a mother of seven children, may soon join the status of these authors. Grey’s book, Traitor, has been recently nominated for three Whitney Awards in the categories of: Best Novel of the Year, Best Novel by a New Author and Best Historical piece.
Grey calls her childhood “unique.” While her father was in the Air Force, her family lived in California, New Mexico and Japan. She says it wasn’t until later in her life that she learned the details of her dad’s involvement in the Cold War, along with her grandfather’s involvement in World War II.
She says that her military upbringing was inspiration for her novels. She also says she was inspired by other LDS writers.
“I grew up reading novels by LDS authors like Jack Weyland and Anita Stansfield and I have been inspired by their talent and entertained by their creativity. . The fact that my book has even been nominated makes me want to be a better author,” Grey said.
Grey believes that the awards encourage other writers too.
“I believe the Whitney awards inspires LDS writers like me to want to be considered creators of the ‘best books,'” she said.
The Whitney Awards were named in honor of an early apostle in the LDS church, Orson F. Whitney. Elder Whitney once stated, “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own.”
Angela Eschler has been an editor in the field of LDS fiction for eight years, and is also a member of the Whitney Awards committee. She says the awards play an important role in honoring great books, even if the books have been overlooked by readers.
“The Whitney’s highlight and honor the best books, which gives authors something to strive for, and gives readers a guidepost to direct them,” Eschler said. “Because the awards are not based on sales or publishing style, they can bring attention to books that might have been missed by the general public.”
Winners will be announced at a gala banquet on April 25 at the Marriott Hotel in Provo, Utah.
Special Lifetime Achievement Awards will also be presented that night to two persons whose bodies of works and tireless efforts have made a significant impact on the field of LDS popular fiction. This year’s honorees are Kerry Blair and Orson Scott Card.
ROMANCE: Seeking Persephone, by Sarah Eden, Servant to a King, by Sariah Wilson, The Sound of Rain, by Anita Stansfield, Spare Change, by Aubrey Mace, Taking Chances, by Shannon Guymon
MYSTERY/SUSPENSE: Above and Beyond, by Betsy Brannon Green, Do No Harm, by Gregg Luke, Fool Me Twice, by Stephanie Black, Freefall, by Traci Hunter Abramson, Royal Target, by Traci Hunter Abramson
YOUTH FICTION: The 13th Reality, by James Dashner, Alcatraz vs. The Scrivner’s Bones, by Brandon Sanderson, Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague (Book 3), by Brandon Mull, Far World: Water Keep, by J. Scott Savage, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George
SPECULATIVE: Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card, The Great and Terrible: From the End of Heaven, by Chris Stewart, The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, Book 3), by Brandon Sanderson, The Host, by Stephanie Meyer, The Wyrmling Horde: The Seventh Book of the Runelords, by David Farland
HISTORICAL: Abinadi, by H.B. Moore, Isabelle Webb, Legend of the Jewel, by N.C. Allen, Master, by Toni Sorenson, The Ruby, by Jennie Hansen, Traitor, by Sandra Grey
GENERAL FICTION: Bound on Earth, by Angela Hallstrom, The Reckoning, by Tanya Parker Mills, Waiting For the Light to Change, by Annette Haws, Fields of Home, by Rachel Ann Nunes, Keeping Keller, by Tracy Winegar
BEST BOOK BY A NEW AUTHOR: Bound on Earth, by Angela Hallstrom, The Reckoning, by Tanya Parker Mills, Spare Change, by Aubrey Mace, Traitor, by Sandra Grey, Waiting For the Light to Change, by Annette Haws
NOVEL OF THE YEAR: Bound on Earth, by Angela Hallstrom, Fool Me Twice, by Stephanie Black, The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, Book 3), by Brandon Sanderson, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George, Traitor, by Sandra Grey